Maryland Becomes Sister State to Jeollanam-do Province of South Korea
Secretary Wobensmith Signs MOU While on Trade and Diplomatic Mission
ANNAPOLIS, MD – Maryland Secretary of State John Wobensmith, participating on behalf of Governor Larry Hogan, today signed a Memorandum of Understanding to establish a sister-state relationship between the State of Maryland and the South Korean province of Jeollanam-do. The agreement – which aims to promote trade, business and entrepreneurship; expand educational opportunities; and foster cultural and artistic exchange – expands upon an existing relationship between Jeollanam-do and Howard County. Jeollanam-do is the home province of Maryland First Lady Yumi Hogan, who was present for the signing.
“It’s an honor to recognize the special relationship between Maryland and Jeollanam-do, the birthplace of First Lady Yumi Hogan,” said Secretary Wobensmith. “Our cultures have a great deal to offer one another, and we are excited to make our continued partnership official.”
The First Lady and Secretary Wobensmith are in South Korea as part of a trade and diplomatic mission being led by his office and the Maryland Department of Commerce. The mission follows Governor Hogan’s 2015 trade mission to Asia, which included visits to Korea, Japan, and China.
“I am proud to be the first Korean American First Lady in the United States, and have been delighted to promote the Korean culture in that role over the past two and a half years,” said the First Lady. “Through this meaningful ceremony, I hope our two regions can continue their many beneficial exchanges, and cooperate to build a strong sister-state relationship.”
The signing included remarks from Secretary Wobensmith, the First Lady, and Kim Kab-sub, the acting governor of Jeollanam-do. Afterward, members of the Maryland delegation planted a tree to symbolize the renewed friendship between the people of South Korea and the people of Maryland.
Located in the southwestern region of South Korea, Jeollanam-do is one of the country’s greenest provinces, known for its rolling hills and more than 3,500 miles of coastline.